From the moment she launched her career, Penny Diamantakiou has continued to climb the corporate ladder, never viewing her gender as a disadvantage. Having worked at major companies such as Telsyte, Optus and now Yahoo!7, Penny has worked predominantly with men. However, following her mantra, when companies treat “people as people”, the professional disparity between women and men can begin to narrow.
How do you take your coffee/tea?
I normally take long black with milk.
Blogs or sites you follow?
I buy a lot of stuff online. With information, I go to local news, BBC and CNN.
What do you love about your job?
We are dealing with new world technology and we’re dealing with a lot of stuff the market doesn’t know about yet, which is exciting. Also the people – I work with a bunch of very young people. The average age of people at Yahoo!7 is about 27-28. What’s been great for me is that you really start to understand, observe and integrate into the habits of young people.
Who has been the most influential mentor in your career?
Two prior bosses. Whilst they were both male, from a manager relationship, the key thing that stood out for me is those two individuals really understood my psyche and what motivates me. They took the approach; this is how she works and clicks so if we can work on that tap into that we can get the best out of her. And they did and they got the best out of me.
Is there anything you think companies could do better to support women in the work place?
Obviously mentorships. One that helped me a lot was that our CEO signed up to this exclusive seaside suite mental program with the business council of Australia for mentoring weekends. Mentoring programs in general are important.
There is a need to pinpoint where gaps exist in succession planning; identifying women and saying “Okay we’re dedicated to sponsoring this person into the role and this is the path”. And tell them! Often women don’t know if they’re valued in a role. They will resign or plan children and when they come back they may not be as powerful because they don’t know their options. Also, flexible work hours for parents are important. When you’re looking at cross-functional teams, put some women in. From a networking community perspective, encouraging women to join those groups.
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